Catering with a Side of Data and Wine Country Relief Fund

How a business caterer is using instant feedback and Southern Glazer’s starts a fund for Wildfire relief in MRM’s Daily Bite. Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at 

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HappyOrNot and ZeroCater Bring Instant Feedback

HappyOrNot and ZeroCater have teamed up to use in-office customer feedback tools to provide data-driven customer service in high-growth startups and enterprise corporations.

To ensure continued success, ZeroCater realized two things: they needed to know what their customers really think about their services and they needed to be able to put this feedback to use. ZeroCater’s customer success team introduced the HappyOrNot solution to their high-volume clients, where it was immediately found that by utilizing HappyOrNot’s anonymous and easy-to-use Smiley Terminal™ and reporting service, they could access and monitor customer feedback data, fast.

“At ZeroCater, the customer experience is essential to our business,” said Arram Sabeti, CEO of ZeroCater. “It’s critical that we have access to their feedback to continue improving the experience, so we looked for a solution that would answer these needs.”

The feedback, including their restaurant partners’ performance trends, are monitored and analyzed by each client’s own account manager and vendor teams. “Having real-time data from everyone we feed and an added layer of customer insight allows us to provide an exceptional customer experience,” says Arvind Stokes, ZeroCater’s VP of Operations, “and HappyOrNot has given us the tools to be able to collect data quickly and reach more customers.”

HappyOrNot’s continuously updated feedback data is crucial to ZeroCater, as they coordinate employee meal and snack programs for offices around the country, working to curate an extensive network of restaurants, food trucks and caterers. To manage this network efficiently and ensure a consistently high level of service delivery, ZeroCater’s vendor team relies on the instant customer feedback data from HappyOrNot to monitor their service performance trends and instantly spot any gaps. This puts ZeroCater in the position of remedying service level issues on a much tighter timeframe and with much greater precision.  

HappyOrNot’s Smiley Terminals offer a simple, yet valuable, tool for collecting feedback. ZeroCater conveniently placed the terminals in high-volume, recurring customer locations where it’s easier to collect data in-person. The terminals are strategically placed in areas where they receive the highest response rates, such as corporate lunchrooms or break rooms.

Each workday, ZeroCater end users are able to provide their confidential thoughts about their meal experience by pressing one of four Smileys (dark green = very happy, light green = happy, pink = unhappy, or red = very unhappy). The benefit is that the Smiley Terminals allow ZeroCater to be more proactive in improving customers’ experiences by providing our entire team fast access and insight into how customers experience each. Since the beginning of 2017, ZeroCater has received over 100,000 feedbacks via the HappyOrNot Smiley Terminals and boosted their customer engagement and feedback by 400 percent.

The Smiley Terminals are also found within ZeroCater’s corporate office.

“One is in our front hallway and is used to look at overall employee happiness,” said Kathryn Herring, Director of Customer Experience. “We want to know how our teams’ days are going.”

Another terminal, located in the ZeroCater kitchen, is used to rate meals as a method for testing out new vendors or menus before they’re released to clients.

Southern Glazer’s Starts Disaster Relief Fund for Wine Country

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits kicked off a GoFundMe campaign to benefit the Napa Valley Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and the Sonoma County Community Foundation Resilience Fund. These funds will be distributing grants to organizations providing crucial services for those impacted by the devastating fires in California, including medical care, temporary shelter, meals and counseling.  The company will match employee contributions to the campaign up to $100,000.

Southern Glazer’s is one of the largest distributors of wine in North America and a number of its supplier and winery partners have been impacted by the fires in Napa and Sonoma counties. The company also has approximately 1,400 employees in Northern California who have been impacted by the fires, including 65 employees and their families who have been evacuated from their homes.  Luckily, all of Southern Glazer’s employees in the impacted areas are safe and accounted for.

“Just as our supplier partners supported us following the recent destructive hurricanes that impacted our people in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands, we stand by them during this difficult time,” said Mel Dick, Senior Vice President of Southern Glazer’s and President of the Company’s Wine Division.  “Our Southern Glazer’s family stands ready to help our valued partners and reciprocate the incredible generosity that has enabled our teams to recover from these disasters. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our friends who have been affected by these wildfires.”

To donate to the relief fund, go to click here.

Bridg Brings on Advisor

Bridg said Jayson Tipp, restaurant industry veteran and former Chief Development Officer and Senior Vice President of Technology at Papa Murphy’s International, LLC, will serve as the company’s Industry Principal in a newly created advisory role.

Jayson Tipp

“We are delighted to formalize our relationship with Jayson, who has been integral as a trusted, independent advisor to Bridg for some time now,” said Amit Jain, CEO and Founder of Bridg. “Jayson is a well-respected marketing and technology executive in the hospitality industry. Through his many leadership roles, Jayson has become a thought-leader in data-driven marketing, and has pioneered approaches to use data more effectively to achieve consumer engagement and sales growth.”

“Having served in marketing leadership roles for firms with a wealth of consumer data, I’m keenly aware of the value customer data can provide restaurant chains and understand the challenges facing brands that want to increase marketing efficiency and drive transactions. As a former Bridg client, I saw directly Bridg’s novel solution to reveal actionable consumer behavior insights from POS data that translates into precision marketing campaigns that deliver results,” said Tipp. “I strongly believe Bridg connects brands to consumer data in a way that is only usually available to e-commerce companies, and I am excited to help serve as an ambassador for the Company, while also advising the product-development and sales teams to ensure they are bringing the best possible product to the market.”

As part of his role, Tipp will represent Bridg at select industry conferences, as well as in ongoing networking and relationship building activities. Tipp’s ongoing restaurant and hospitality industry expertise also includes consulting with private equity firms looking to maximize investments in the restaurant industry and serving as a thought leader and speaker at additional industry events and trade shows.

Rotolo’s Opens Third Restaurant in Baton Rouge

Rotolo’s opened its third restaurant in Baton Rouge.

This is the first location with the brand’s new prototype. The new Baton Rouge restaurant is the first of its kind – Craft & Crust – and it serves as Rotolo’s new flagship location. The updated restaurant design featuring a Slice Bar where Rotolo’s pizza chefs will cut the slice as the guest orders.

Rotolo’s Craft & Crust menu features new options like the Sicilian Pizzas and the 13-inch Stone Crafted Pizzas cooked at 600 degrees in an Italian stone deck oven. Several of these new pizzas have won international awards. The Figgy Piggy – pulled mozzarella, fig spread, prosciutto, gorgonzola, shaved asiago, oil and balsamic reduction – recently took home the gold medal during the Food Network’s “Pi Champions Challenge.” 

“It’s been over 20 years since my father built the first Rotolo’s Pizzeria in Tigerland,” said Founder and CEO Mitch Rotolo Jr., member of the World Pizza Team and 2016 World Champion at the World Pizza Games. “Along the way, we felt like we might’ve lost some of our original grit that made us great, so we knew it was time to make a change. We are leveling up and bringing our founding spirit back, in all of its grit and honest charm and we’re doing it all in a cool atmosphere that you’ll look forward to visiting time and again. We’re extremely excited to finally debut Rotolo’s Craft & Crust in our hometown; we know fans and newcomers alike are going to love it.”

The new Baton Rouge restaurant is the 23rd Rotolo’s in Louisiana and 31st system-wide.

Paytronix Teams with TravelCenters

Paytronix Systems, Inc.  has become the loyalty and guest engagement platform for TravelCenters of America LLC’s Minit Mart stores and an array of branded restaurants. Paytronix expects that the platform will strengthen customer relationships by delivering highly targeted, relevant and timely offers, earned rewards, and messages. 

The Paytronix Platform for TravelCenters is expected to include:

  • Flexible Program Design – A rules-based engine enables multiple program designs, the flexibility to handle modern program requirements, and the scalability to evolve over time.
  • Data Access – Via an easy-to-navigate, self-service interface, users can interact with data visualizations and drill down to the individual member level to act on insights. Teams make informed decisions and are more agile when access to data is present.
  • Segmentation & Targeting – Leveraging the platform’s campaign center, marketing teams are empowered to segment and target customer populations with relevant offers to compel more visits. Filters segment out those members who are likely to visit anyway, avoiding discounting or cannibalization of full-priced visits; thereby increasing the profitability of each promotion.
  • Technical Expertise – The proven ability to incorporate Paytronix into its complex technical ecosystem. The level of point of sale and other systems integration experience Paytronix brings to the table is unique in the industry.
    Michelle Tempesta

“TravelCenters of America put Paytronix through a rigorous and thought-provoking review process that helped us truly dial into its biggest challenges and objectives,” said Michelle Tempesta, Head of Product Management at Paytronix. “We will be teaming up with them to roll out a program that delivers on this industry’s promise: customer convenience.”